In the early hours of July 2nd,media reported that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, had surpassed its previous high and even exceeded his pre-divorce level. In the previous divorce case, Bezos gave up a quarter of his stake in Amazon as part of the divorce settlement.
Amazon shares rose 4.4 percent to a record $2,878.70 per share on Wednesday, bringing Bezos’ fortune to $171.6 billion. That’s more than the $167.7 billion he set on September 4, 2018, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos’ earnings highlight the widening gap between rich and poor in the United States, which has added $56.7 billion in assets this year alone. The U.S. is experiencing its worst recession since the Great Depression. While tens of millions of americans have lost their jobs, IPOs and buoyant stock markets continue to support their vast wealth. The company has earlier faced complaints from workers after the company stopped paying workers overtime bonuses. Then Amazon said this week that it would spend about $500 million to pay a one-time bonus of $500 to most front-line workers.
Amazon declined to comment on Bezos’ assets.
The impact of the outbreak, consumers to reduce the number of visits to physical stores, and more reliance on e-commerce for the purchase of daily necessities, the situation has given amazon business a huge boost. Bezos owns 11 per cent of Amazon, a major component of its assets.
Most of the biggest gainers in the U.S. stock market are tech, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose assets have increased by $25.8billion since January 1, and Zoom founder Yuan Zheng, whose assets have nearly tripled to $13.1 billion.
Bezos’ ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos, who took a 4 per cent stake in Amazon after her divorce, has a personal fortune of $56.9bn, ranking 12th on Bloomberg’s list, and recently overtook Alice Walton and Julia FleshKoch as the world’s second richest woman, currently just behind the heir to Theo. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers.
But so far this year, not all the rich have seen their assets grow. Zara’s owner, Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, lost $19.2bn, making it the worst-losing person on the list. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman, lost $19bn and Bernard Arault, the French luxury goods tycoon, lost $17.6bn. Since 2020, most of the wealthy have seen their assets decline. The total assets of the top 500 billionaires are now $5.93 trillion, up from $5.91 trillion at the start of the year. (Line Cloud)